Focus on fathers at workshop and new exhibition

The dads took part in the weekend of activities focusing on their emotional health and wellbeing. (Lorcan Doherty Photography)
The dads took part in the weekend of activities focusing on their emotional health and wellbeing. (Lorcan Doherty Photography)

The ‘Dads Project’ has hosted a residential for separated fathers in Derry as a new exhibition focusing on the importance of men as parents.

A group of over 20 dads attendeda few days of activities in St. Columb’s Park House last weekend, with the event focusing on fathers’ wellbeing ahead of Men’s Health Week.

The Parenting NI Dads Project have an exhibition of photographs, 'Men as Dads' on display in the Verbal Arts Centre from Monday 10th June to Wednesday 19th June.

The Parenting NI Dads Project have an exhibition of photographs, 'Men as Dads' on display in the Verbal Arts Centre from Monday 10th June to Wednesday 19th June.

The ‘Dads Project,’ which local charity Parenting NI lead with thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, organised the event to offer men an opportunity to not only access emotional support but also to get together and enjoy a range of talks and activities.

Cahir Murray, the ‘Dads Project’ co-ordinator, said: “It was wonderful to be able to gather together over the weekend and give the men space to explore the positives of being a dad in Northern Ireland’s society.

“We wanted to help dads build up their understanding of their value and the important role they have as fathers.

“Over the course of the weekend we also took time to reflect on our wellbeing, which many men struggle with. I hope that the dads have come away from the experience feeling better equipped to cope with the many challenges life throws at them whether they live with their children or not.”

In an effort to further highlight positive images of fathers, the ‘Dads Project’ also have a photo exhibition titled ‘Men as Dads’ in the Verbal Arts Centre.

Local photographer Mura McKinney took on the project to help celebrate dads as positive role models and the unique contribution they make to their children’s lives.

The exhibition opened on Monday past, and runs until Wednesday, June 19.

Parenting NI have thanked People Plus and SDC Contractors for their support in making the weekend possible.

To find out more about the ‘Dads Project’ and how to get involved visit www.parentingni.org
The Parenting NI Dads Project was launched in Derry last year and supports all dads in Northern Ireland, in particular those who are separating or separated, with engagement in their children’s lives, confidence in parenting ability and building positive connections with other dads in a similar position.